City Week 


Thursday, Feb. 19, 5:30 p.m.
Center for Creative Photography Auditorium
1030 N. Olive Road

Evidentiary material. To most people, the phrase conjures up images from those all-day Law & Order marathons: guns, bodies, witnesses. But the nice folks at UA's Center for Creative Photography want us to think beyond the crime shows. How about Art as Evidentiary Material?

CCP presents a slide lecture that addresses always-changing ideas of how, and to what extent, art and photographic pieces have been used as evidentiary material. The lecture will be presented by Ann Marie Russell, executive director of the Museum of Contemporary Art. Russell, the producer and director of Worst Possible Illusion: The Curiosity Cabinet of Vik Munizand and producer of Art & Racing: The Work and Life of Salvatore Scarpitta, is also an adjunct instructor in UA's Department of Art.

Yes, we know you live for the TV detectives' cheeky wisecracks, but give CCP a shot. You might be pleasantly surprised.


Friday, Feb. 20, 7 p.m.
Antigone Books
411 N. Fourth Ave.
792-3715, antigonebooks.com

These days, Americans always want to be thinner. Whether motivated by doctors or by fad diets, the yearning to lose weight has become commonplace, almost trite. But what happens to the psyche when a person loses the body they've always known?

At the age of 42, Frances Kuffel weighed 313 pounds. Her lifelong obesity barred her from activities that others took for granted: comfortable air travel, the attention of lovers, a family of her own. Obesity-related health problems--including a 36-pound ovarian cyst and chronic pain--plagued her. Determined to leave her past food addiction behind, she set out to lose weight via exercise and a diet heavy in vegetables and low in sugar.

During the next year, she lost 188 pounds, radically altering her appearance. Unprepared for life as a thinner person, Kuffel was thrust into a new world of clothes, dating and activities. Striving to become comfortable in an unfamiliar body, her lack of experience with flirting and men gave her the self-consciousness of a teenager. As she gradually learned the rules of her new world, the former outsider struggled to enjoy the opportunities and pleasures her "alien body" offered her.

In her candid memoir, Passing for Thin: Losing Half My Weight and Finding My Self, Kuffel takes readers through her experience with humor, creativity and wisdom. On Friday, Feb. 20, at 7 p.m., Kuffel will read from her book at Antigone Books. The reading will be followed by refreshments and a question-and-answer period.


121 E. Seventh St.
Workshop: Friday, Feb. 20, 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. and Saturday, Feb. 21,10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Performance: Saturday, Feb. 21, 8 p.m.

Enter the mythological world of the Aborigines of Australia--but just for a night. This Saturday, Orts Theatre of Dance is bringing Australian musician and performer Ash Dargan to Tucson for an evening of didgeridoo music, natural sounds and visual treats.

Territory, set in the ancient dreamtime land of the Northern Territory of Australia, utilizes a variety of media to transport guests to those ethereal surroundings. Images of Australia's wildlife and natural areas, including Kakadu National Park and Uluru-Kata Tjuta National Park, accompany Dargan's live didgeridoo performance. The sounds of crickets, birdcalls and frogs blend with the environmental images to create deeper texture and the spirit of Australia.

Both at home and abroad, Dargan has received critical acclaim. "Ash is a bridge between the entire world music sound of this century and what is happening here in Indigenous Australia. Ash as a composer has an ear for what we all want to hear," raves Gavin Jones, editor of Australia's indigenous magazine Deadly Vibe.

A 10-year didgeridoo veteran, Dargan is no stranger to popular success as well. His 1996 compilation album hit the Top 10 on U.S. world music charts, and several subsequent albums went gold. In 2000, Indigenous Rhythms was nominated for Album of the Year at the Australian National Indigenous Music Awards.

In addition to the live performance, Dargan will teach a workshop on the didgeridoo in traditional and modern Aboriginal culture. Both traditional and modern styles will be discussed, as well as the root of the instrument's name and how it is made. Learn the traditional story of the didgeridoo as told to youth, and discover its symbolism for a young man's role in Aboriginal society. Dargan will demonstrate the difference between various performance styles and discuss the history and culture associated with the didgeridoo and Aboriginal Australians.

The performance of Territory is 8 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 21, in the ORTSPACE Studios, 121 E. Seventh St., on the northeast corner of Seventh St. and Seventh Ave. Maps and directions are available at orts.org. Tickets are $12 and are available at Bentley's, Antigone Books, Silverbell Trading and at orts.org. Buy early, as only 120 seats are available.

The didgeridoo workshop is from 7 to 9 p.m. Friday, Feb. 20, and 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 21. The class, like the performance, takes place in the ORTSPACE Studios. The cost is $60; price includes admission to the Saturday evening performance of Territory. For more information, call 624-3799, e-mail orts@orts.org, or visit ashdargan.com.


Saturday, Feb. 21
9 a.m. to 11 a.m.
Jefferson Park Elementary School
1701 E. Seneca St.

Everybody has seen the stories about community coalitions that joined forces to clean up and beautify their neighborhood, or groups of schoolchildren who transformed a vacant lot into a community garden. The impact of grassroots efforts is undeniable, but often underestimated. Too often, the seemingly boundless enthusiasm of children falls victim to adult cynicism or feelings of hopelessness.

But can kids really change the neighborhoods they live in? You bet. This Saturday, children and adults alike can find out how to take their ideas and transform them into reality. The PRO Neighborhoods workshop, "Planning and Leading Kids' Projects," hopes to teach kids how to implement neighborhood-improving projects, while motivating them to realize their abilities.

Adults are invited, too. A crucial second focus of the workshop will be to train adults to be facilitators, to inspire and guide kids in their quests for change. Facilitators will encourage each child's different abilities and interests in project creation and planning. The result will be brighter neighborhoods, supportive adult-child relationships and creative, active children.

The workshop is free, but registration is required. Bring your kids, your neighbors and your big ideas.


More by Carrie Stern


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